Community Engaged Research

What is Community-Engaged Research?
Community-engaged research (CEnR) is a framework or approach for conducting research. CEnR equitably involves all partners, community and academic, in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings1.  CEnR requires partnership development, cooperation and negotiation, and commitment to addressing local health issues2

What is Community Engagement?
Community Engagement is the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people.   It often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices3.

Why Engage the Community in Research?
Communities have the ‘inside experts.’ Strengths and resources exist among community members to address stressors and promote health and well-being.  Community outreach has the potential to foster collaborative research partnerships and enhance public trust in clinical and translational research. It also has the potential to enhance the recruitment and retention of research participants that represent a rich diversity of the population.

The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) fourth strategic goal is to enhance the health of our communities and the nation by3:   
“Identifying and developing effective partnerships between academic researchers and community stakeholders that allow for participation, discovery, application, and dissemination of science that improves the public’s health and reduces health disparities, and to promote the translation of the results of clinical and translational research into practice and public policy.”
Bi-directional communication with relevant community groups allows for the translation of research from the bench to bedside.

What is Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR)?
Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) is a collaborative process that acknowledges community members as experts and serves to empower communities, strengthen problem-solving capacity and ensure cultural specificity.  CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities4.

Resources
South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR)
https://sctr.musc.edu

Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA)
https://www.ctsacentral.org

Yale Center for Clinical Investigation: Community Alliance for Research & Engagement (CARE)
http://publichealth.yale.edu/giving/makingadifference/whitepapers/care.aspx

Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH)
http://www.ccph.info/

Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR)
http://www.communitybasedresearch.ca/Page/View/About_Us.html

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS): Environmental Justice & Community-Based Participatory Research
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/programs/justice/

Sources:
1. Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute: Community Population Research Consultation. Available at: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/octri/
2. Community-Institutional Partnerships for Prevention Research Group. Developing and Sustaining Community-based Participatory Research Partnerships: A Skill-Building Curriculum. 2006. Available at: www.cbprcurriculum.info
3. CDC/ATSDR Committee on Community Engagement, Principles of Community Engagement. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1997. National Institutes of Health, Clinical and Translational Science Awards. Available at: http://www.CTSAcentral.org/
4. W. K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program. Available at: http://www.kellogghealthscholars.org/about/community.cfm